Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 23

So this week was really an interesting one. If you ever want to feel really stressed, try dealing with a landlord that has your deposit, with no particular reason to return it, who keeps saying he will give it to you the next day then doesn't show up for the appointment and knowing that if you don't get it back, you might have to move back to a really horrible house. Now that is stressful. At least right now we have two people with really good chances of getting baptized and who we can help to work towards that. Also, this week there were three less active families with whom we have been working who look like they are going to reactivate, one of the husbands is going to receive the Melchizedek priesthood, and everything looks pretty good on the reactivation front. Oh, by the way, this week I got a really strong testimony of companionship inventory, my companion and I decided to sit down and tell each other basically all the reasons why we didn't like the other person(it took a while) and now my companion and I get along well. I must admit that as I have been trying to type these emails, it has gotten progressively harder as I have kind of started to not remember a lot of English phrases like I used to.

The coolest parts of this week were really what I learned, like honestly I cannot describe how much I learned this week. First off, Charity and love are absolutely vital in order to exercise priesthood power. Note I mention power and not authority, (see D&C 121) which refers to what both men and women have access to. If we as people in a calling in the church or as a parent or in whatever position, wish to use the powers that we are entitled to, then we need to honestly love the people we are serving, and not do things for ourselves or for our own pride. This is why we do not in general perform the same miracles that Jesus performed. There is a part of us, however small, that really wants to receive recognition for what we do in the name of the priesthood (or in our various callings) and not out of love. Furthermore, I did a deep study of D&C 50 this week, and I really realized something essential. All covenants have two parts, what we promise and what we are promised. I never knew what I promised when I received the priesthood, and as I read D&C 50, I realized that this chapter talks to all those with the office of Elder in the Church, and that their calling is to preach the Gospel by the spirit. That is why missionary work is a priesthood responsibility and why we have so many more Elders as opposed to sisters in the mission field. When I heard those two things, it honestly really changed how I was viewing my work as a missionary. Instead of thinking hey I need to find some way to baptize Roberto this week, instead I was thinking how is it that I can help Roberto in his life by preaching to him the Gospel. How can I teach in such a way that he will understand so the spirit can touch his heart. Honestly a huge change. 

Something else cool was to talk with an ex missionary who was stationed in temple square about polygamy. Honestly wow, the way she explained it, I have so much respect, so much respect for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and the others who participated. It really is something misunderstood completely, and all I have time to say is wow, I really appreciate that so much. Anyways ya, this week was much more tranquil and I really am just enjoying my mission a lot more. I love you all lots

Elder Standridge

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